Destination Dining: Beef Flank & Mushrooms at Madame George
We are gathered here today to unite this beef flank and these mushrooms in the bonds of good food.
Do you <Beef Flank> take these Oyster, Swiss Brown and Wood Ear Mushrooms to be your lawfully combined dish partner? Damn straight I do.
Do you <Mushrooms> take the Beef Flank to be your lawfully combined dish partner? Yeah baby.
Then, by the authority vested in me by the group known as Good Food Lovers, I now pronounce you Killer Dish.
And killer dish this is.
Combining mushrooms with meat is hardly a new idea. The combination is a natural one, case in point, all-time classic dishes such as Beef Stroganoff, Beef Wellington and dare-I-say-it, Wendy's Baconator Mushroom Melt and their Smoke 'Shroom Burger. So why do these two things when joined at the hip taste so good? Quite simply, it's a umami bomb and the principles of umami are here in full effect. This symbiotic relationship creates a flavour explosion in your mouth that never gets old. A foodie's idea of a ménage à trois: Beef, Mushrooms and Your Mouth. But you still have to execute it. It doesn't just happen by lackadaisically putting the two together on a plate and relying on umami to bring it on home.....which is why I love Madame George. Not just for this dish that we're waxing lyrical about, but almost all of their "simple" dishes revolve around great execution. Take a look at their current menu. The dishes read as simple collaborations between a few simple seasonal ingredients (kind of symptomatic of many great eateries on K'Rd, funnily enough). That's the beauty of dishes that read simple, that place all the emphasis solely on the core ingredients. Undersell and overwhelm. Everyone loves a good surprise. So as part of their Large Plate offerings, Madame George's Beef Flank & Mushrooms is just a beautiful beautiful thing. Amongst a host of great dishes (the sensational carrots with miso and spices are worthy of their own review to be honest), the beef flank, for me, is a destination dish, worthy of your travel time. A beautiful cut of my favorite beef cut, the Flank, cooked to perfection, and complimented by smoked butter and a mushroom stock (we won't use the word "jus" here) made from fresh and fermented oyster, swiss brown and wood ear mushrooms, locally grown and sourced by Out of the Dark mushrooms. Textures are as you can imagine: sultry, sexy, juicy, and melt-in-the-mouth. And it goes without saying, there won't be any sauce left on the plate once you're done. Mop that liquid gold up with whatever you've got handy - bread (damn good here too), fingers, or even some of those ass-kicking carrots. Once you've got that plate completely clean, grab your drink of choice (for this dish - I'd pair it up with a full bodied red, a full-flavored ale or even a whisky cocktail) take a good strong sip, sit back in your seat (placing hands in pants - optional) and breathe a big old sigh of contentment. Ahhhhh.......that's what the aftermath of an amazing dish sounds like. Keen on checking this dish out? Go to: Madame George, 490 Karangahape Road | www.madamegeorge.co.nz